The keks may be no more at 4Chan, after the infamous website's current owner hinted in a post it could be set to shut down after running out of money.
The community message board, which launched in 2003 from a bedroom, gained notoriety for leaking the iCloud Celebgate hack of nude photos of celebrities, as well as becoming the birthplace for a huge swathe of internet memes. But it could be about to see its last RickRoll and Pepe the Frog as owner Hiroyuki Nisimura created a thread on the site apologising for tfw when you can't keep 4Chan afloat financially.
"Thank you for thinking about 4chan. We had tried to keep 4chan as is. But I failed. I am sincerely sorry," wrote Nisimura in a post he titled 'Winter is Coming'.
"Some notice there are no more middle ads and bottom ads on 4chan. Ads don't work well. So we reduced advertisement servers cost. 4chan can't afford infrastructure costs, network fee, servers cost, CDN and etc, now."
Before subculture vultures mourn the potential loss of their perch, Nisimura laid out some options that could be introduced to help cut costs and keep the site running –but they would drastically change how 4Chan works. He described pushing for more paid-for subscriptions for content, introducing a lot more ads, or cut traffic to the site by half to reduce the strain on server costs.
4Chan has gained a reputation for hosting the pigswill of the internet by providing an outlet for a section of trolls, racists and sexist users to post shocking and 'politically incorrect' content, thanks to a 'no rules' policy. But reducing traffic could mean shutting down message boards or limiting the amount of images and gifs uploaded. How you look at this it could be a good or bad thing. Ultimately, 4Chan is in choppy water.
Shkreli to the rescue?
However, it might be thrown a lifeline from a fitting benefactor in the form of controversial millionaire Martin 'Pharma Bro' Shkreli who tweeted that he would be interested in joining the board of directors of 4Chan.
Shkreli, who became known as 'the internet's most hated man' after increasing the cost of his company's Aids medication Daraprim by more than 5000%, is believed to be in conversation with Nisimura following a conversation on Twitter. Whether this will actually happen only time will tell, and what Shkreli has in mind for 4Chan the mind boggles but you can be sure there'll be a lolcat for it.